Still catching up on stuff that ran last week, like this review of the solo mostly acoustic guitar album by Lambchop alum William Tyler. It ran in Dusted maybe Wednesday, before the whole Turkey frenzy took hold, and it's too good to be buried there. (The album, not the review, which is so so and repeats the word "luminous" at least once too often.)
Anyway, here's a bit:
Though he’s only about 30 now, William Tyler has played with most of Nashville’s alt.Americana A-list over the last decade. He started right out of high school with Lambchop, but has also worked with Silver Jews and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. He sometimes collaborates with Paul Nieuhaus of Calexico. Around the middle of the aughts, he played with David and Hamish Kilgour. Last year, working in the shadow of late John Fahey, he released an album of finger-picked guitar and electronic experiment under the name Paper Hats. His “Between Radnor and Sunrise” on the fourth volume of the Imaginational Anthem series was one of the disc’s highlights, grounded in American primitivism and played with precision and rigor, yet glazed over somehow with an aura of almost mystic wonder. It’s not an accident that he cites Peter Walker along with Fahey as an influence. Like both of them, Tyler uses the guitar as a pathway to the spiritual.
This is him doing his Paper Hat thing.
I also finished Virgil Thompson's The State of Music last night, and have to write about it at some point...what a cranky, crabby, funny diatribe on the problem of making a living in classical music, circa 1940. (And updated, a little bit, for a second edition in 1961.)